27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. 30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. 34 The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?” 35 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. 36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.
As I read this section of scripture, the glaring theme here is also one of the most important concepts that can ever be answered – What did Christ really come to earth for?
I have myself explored this question at various stages in my life. Was it to give us an example of how to live, or to teach us wisdom from heaven? He certainly did those things, but was it the main reason?
Did he come to perform miracles; to get the lame to walk, and to bring sight to the blind?
Did he come to bring about repentance amongst the generations who lived in his time?
Was he a man, or God, or bits of each, or somehow fully both? This passage suggests that he prayed that he would bring glory to the Father, but how?
If you are reading this, you will likely know that the answer, the true answer is that Christ died in our place, taking the punishment that we deserved for our sin. In doing this, we who trust and believe in Christ can be in a place of right standing with God.
This passage, and others in the gospels, suggest that Christ knew that this was his mission – to die for the sins of the world. He certainly executed it perfectly and he positioned himself along the way to ensure that his mission would not just be a moment in time, but that the news of his success – vital for the salvation of the world – would spread across the entire earth.
But all of this, while wonderful to think about and understand is only part of the deal for me. Yes, God loves me for who I am and in spite of my sin, but he also, out of that love calls me into a responsibility to be part of Christ’s mission!
It isn’t always clear to me how I am to act day-to-day, how much sleep I should get and how many hours I need to be spending doing certain tasks etc, but one thing is clear – I have a responsibility to make sure that the successful mission of Christ reaches further and further into the lives of everyone around me, so that this world can be truly changed by His amazing grace.
Father, help me to never lose sight of the mission that we are on together.
Written by Ps. Justin Ware